Leadership 101: Standing Alone

Our company had enjoyed a consistent stream of revenue from a long standing customer for over 20 years.  While we were not a single sourced supplier, we were a preferred one, being highly trusted and favoured. I was reminded of that special relationship when I assumed the role of President. To the shareholders and management, the margins we collected on the products we sold to this one specific customer provided significant bonuses and dividends, increasing our company’s and individual standard of living considerably.

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The story is told of a group of 12 members of a support group who were all suffering from the same life-threatening health issue. Conventional treatments were failing, so they decided to follow the advice of a friend to visit a doctor who used unconventional methods to heal incurable diseases. To their surprise, the doctor’s unusual treatment was successful. After travelling some distance, two of the groups’ members realized they had not thanked the doctor for his help and for saving their lives.  The two decided to travel back and see the doctor who upon their arrival was not only shocked, but also thrilled because these two were humble and honest enough to say “thank you.”

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Don't Panic

The time arrived for me to lead a workshop on “Building a High Performance Organization,” the second element of my agreed upon participation in the American Society for Training & Development – Middle East North Africa Conference. I was well prepared, quite anxious to start and confident my audience would be engaged. However, a few minor preparations were required before I could begin. The AV team had to attach the lapel microphone. I had to switch from the previous presenter’s computer to my own and test the visuals.

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The Decision that Will Change Your Life

"Who do you say that I am?" If you or I were to ask that question to our friends, family and professional colleagues, how would they answer?

I find interesting the various approaches used to answer that seemingly simple question. How do you take a 37-year professional career and summarize it in a one-page biography? Or record it properly on LinkedIn? Or provide the relevant details in a CV or résumé? Or communicate history to impress the listener in a 60-minute interview?

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Valuing our Differences - Celebrating Diversity

There are a number of various cultural, religious and secular celebrations at this time of the year. Some of these include:


National American Indian Heritage Month – November
All Saints' Day (Christian, Roman Catholic) – November 2
Dia de los Muertos "Day of the Dead" (Mexico, Latin America) – October 31-November 2
All Souls' Day (Roman Catholic) – November 2
Birthday of Baha'u'llah (Baha'i) – November 12
Diwali (Buddhist, Hindu) – November 3 
Hijri New Year – November 4-5 
Day of Ashura (Islamic, Muslim) – November 10

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Oops! I Forgot

For most babies, the first two words out of their mouths are “Mama, Dada.” I believe for me it was “I forgot.” 

Merv, did you pick up your toys? I forgot. Merv, did you brush your teeth? I forgot. Did you make your bed? I forgot. Merv, did you have your parents sign your grade report? I forgot.

As I got older, matters didn’t improve. Merv, did you call your mother? I forgot. Merv, did you pick up the laundry? I forgot. Did you put out the garbage? I forgot. Did you buy milk? I forgot. Did you sign those cheques? I forgot. Do you know what day it is today? It’s our anniversary. Oops . . . I forgot.

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If Words Could Speak

Most of us have heard the phrase, “The pen is mightier than the sword”. These words were never spoken more effectively than by 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls. In her first public speech since the attack, speaking to world leaders, she demanded that all countries provide free but compulsory schooling for every child.

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